9 Fire Protection Tips for the Food Industry

From mom-and-pop shops to hole-in-the-walls to five-star dining places, restaurant kitchens can be a highly stressful and demanding place; they are always expected to send out good food. Restaurants are at high risk for small fires that quickly spiral out of control. From fire extinguisher service to proper fire protection strategies, we'll explore how the food industry should approach fire protection.

Since it’s an area filled with paper products, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals, electrical connections, hot equipment, and open flames - restaurant kitchens are vulnerable to fire. Restaurant fires can then lead to loss of revenue, destruction of property, permanent closure of a business, and worst, endanger lives.

Apart from making sure your fire extinguisher service is running efficiently, here are 9 fire protection tips for your restaurant.

Automatic Fire Suppression System

More than 50 percent of fires in restaurant kitchens is because of cooking equipment. An automatic fire suppression system can effectively automatically dispense chemicals that suppress any flames before they spread.

When the fire suppression system is on, the electric or fuel supply to the cooking apparatus is automatically cut off. The system should be inspected at least twice a year.

It should also be regularly maintained to make sure it’s in good shape. Professionals should only do the installation and inspection.

Fire Extinguisher Service

Place portable fire extinguishers throughout the establishment

Place portable fire extinguishers throughout the establishment; they should be strategically put in sections that are easily accessible and away from hot areas. They are excellent as backups in the event of a fire.

For a restaurant kitchen, the Class K fire extinguishers are the right choice; they are ideal for putting out fires that are caused by oils, fats, and grease, which burn at exceptionally high temperatures.

However, Class K fire extinguishers are made to use after triggering an automatic fire suppression system. Other classes of fire extinguisher service such as A, B, and C should also be used; these can put out fires that are generated by electrical issues, papers, plastic, and wood. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications before using any class of fire extinguishers.

Regular Maintenance

Ensure that you have a consistent maintenance schedule of all your fire protection systems and equipment.

Other Hazards

There are other hazards that you should be aware of, including combustible items that may be near power outlets and sources.

Automated Wet Chemical Installations

For restaurants with large food preparation areas and cooking facilities (big or small), these sections should be protected with automatic wet chemical installations, specifically for deep fryers. Fire blankets and a fire extinguisher service that are made of wet chemicals should be used to support the automated system.

Automated Fire Alarm System

Adding an automated fire alarm installation system can also strengthen your restaurant’s fire protection. This system is designed to scan and monitor the environment for any signs of a fire emergency. It can also prepare the automated fire suppression system to hinder the spread of the blaze and smoke.

Emergency Lights and Exit Signs

Emergency lights and exit signs are especially useful in areas of kitchens and restaurants where the staff and customers often gather. Exit signs and emergency lights should be placed above exit doors. Regular inspection and maintenance should also be done once a month.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are vital in securing and protecting a restaurant establishment from fires. These devices can be installed using both wireless or wired connection. If a fire starts in the restaurant, the installed smoke detector will be activated and send signals to a central monitoring station, where you have a monitored alarm system in place. Smoke detectors are especially helpful when the establishment is closed; it sends guaranteed, immediate help when there’s no one around.

Commercial kitchens are vulnerable to fire accidents.

Fire Sprinkler System

Any restaurant should not miss installing a fire sprinkler system - an efficient one that ensures it’s always in good working condition. Back-flow systems and fire pumps play an important role in fire safety; thus, they need regular inspection and maintenance. A professional fire sprinkler installation company will check the sprinklers, gauges and piping, and valves by running some tests; these inspections will ensure they are equipped and ready for any fire emergency.

In Conclusion

The first step in any restaurant fire protection plan is to make sure that various safety systems and equipment are in place - both for the security of the facilities and the safety of your staff and customers. Apart from the installation, you also need proper fire extinguisher service, maintenance, and repair by highly-trained and qualified fire protection professionals.